Kai Havertz of Germany smiles with team mate Timo Werner (R) during a training session of the German national team prior to the UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier match against Netherland at Volksparkstadion on September 05, 2019 in Hamburg, Germany.
Chelsea go 'all out' for Kai Havertz, UEFA plan Champions League mini-tournament, Manchester United are offered James Rodriguez and Tottenham bid for Southampton star. It's Tuesday's Paper Round...
Chelsea go 'all out' for Havertz
Chelsea are ready to go "all out" to sign the highly-rated Kai Havertz as they look to pair the German wonderkid with the seemingly-inbound Timo Werner. Last week, the Blues were reported to have beaten Liverpool to the signing of RB Leipzig striker Werner and now the Mail state that Chelsea want to continue their Bundesliga raid with Havertz. The Bayer Leverksen attacker is in high demand, with Real Madrid, Manchester United and Bayern Munich all interested, but Blues boss Frank Lampard is keen to add a young wide player to his squad amid the expected departures of Willian and Pedro when their contracts expire at the end of the season. Leverkusen are likely to demand around £75 million for Havertz if he were to leave this summer.
Paper Round's view: Chelsea really mean business. The west London outfit confirmed the £38-million signing of attacking midfielder Hakim Ziyech from Ajax back in February and if they add Werner and Havertz to their squad they will start to look like title challengers again. Leicester City left-back Ben Chilwell has been linked with an £85-million move to Stamford Bridge too. Chelsea were handed a transfer ban last summer and it seems like they're just making up for lost time as they look to complete numerous high-profile transfers before the 2019-20 season is even over. Lampard is assembling a squad of talented youngsters, who could really do something special.
UEFA plan 'World Cup-style' Champions League conclusion
UEFA have planned for the football season to be concluded with adapted versions of their European competitions played out as "World Cup-style" mini-tournaments in August. According to the Independent, the Champions League and Europa League will consist of one-legged quarter-finals and semi-finals before a final - all taking place in one city each over a two-week period. The coronavirus pandemic forced the European governing body to find a new solution to conclude this season's competition and a handful of cities declared their interest in hosting the 'mini-tournament'. It looks likely that Lisbon will host the Champions League, while Frankfurt could be named as the Europa League destination.
Paper Round's view: If UEFA can find a way to complete the Champions League and Europa League this year, then why not? The main issue surrounding the resumption of the European competitions is the fact that players and staff would have to compromise their health risks by travelling to multiple countries in order to play their matches. However, one mini-tournament would reduce travel and create an incredible spectacle for fans watching at home. The Independent report states that Lisbon, Frankfurt and Moscow all "made pitches" to host the event to UEFA, but the fact that Lisbon has multiple high-quality stadiums made their offer more "attractive". These are unprecedented circumstances - but if the 'World Cup-style' tournaments are able to go ahead safely - it could be great.
Manchester United have been offered a "cut-price" deal to sign James Rodriguez from Real Madrid, according to the Sun. The attacking midfielder has found himself out-of-favour in the Spanish capital since his big-money move back in 2014. Rodriguez spent two years out on loan at Bayern Munich before returning to the Santiago Bernabeu where he has made just seven league appearances all season. The 28-year-old's contract expires in 2021 and Real Madrid chiefs are worried about losing him for free, which is why United are being offered his services. Everton are also interested in what would be an ambitious attempt to sign Rodriguez as Carlo Ancelotti weighs up a third spell in charge of the Colombian playmaker.
Paper Round's view: United have been linked with Rodriguez for years but they have never really made their move - despite the fact that he probably would've been available over the past few years. Injuries have taken their toll on the exciting star we saw at the 2014 World Cup, but it's easy to forget that he is still only 28 years old. Rodriguez has time to take one more chance at the top level - but is United the right destination? It doesn't look likely with Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes currently occupying the creative roles in midfield and the fact that the club is desperate to sign Jadon Sancho. It genuinely wouldn't be a surprise to see Rodriguez reunite with Ancelotti on Merseyside.
Tottenham are ready to bid for Southampton star Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg after his club "gave him the green light" to leave this summer. The Star report that the Saints chiefs are happy to sell the Denmark international - if the "right offer" is made. Spurs face competition from Everton but the north London club are likely to submit an opening offer for Hojbjerg first. Southampton reportedly demanded £35 million for the 24-year-old back in January, but the Saints might be forced to lower their asking price as Hojbjerg approaches the final 12 months of his contract at the club. Spurs have been offered Matias Vecino from Inter Milan, but Jose Mourinho would prefer to sign Hojbjerg.
Paper Round's view: The comments from Southampton seem to confirm that Hojbjerg will be leaving this summer. Southampton can't risk losing out on a big transfer fee by allowing the former Bayern Munich midfielder to run down his contract and the fact that Spurs and Everton are both interested will drive up the price due to the competition to secure his signature. Tottenham are currently crying out for more depth in their midfield. The club seem to have a huge hole in the middle of the pitch since the departure of Mousa Dembele last year. Giovani Lo Celso and Tanguy Ndombele both joined in 2019 but both are more creative players - so signing someone like Hojbjerg would add a new dimension to Mourinho's midfield options.